January issue 3 2003

Uganda Delegation from Government and private sector Visit to KFC

A delegation from Uganda visited the Kenya Flower Council on Thursday 26th January 2012 with an aim of understanding the KFC function in the flower industry. The delegation included:

  • · David Eboku – Uganda National Bureau of Standards
  • · Frederick Nshemereirwe – Ministry of Agriculture
  • · Eva Ekanya – Private Sector Foundation Uganda
  • · Abdul Karim – Sulma Foods Ltd
  • · Esther Nekambi – Uganda Flowers Exporters Association
  • · Julius Oboth – Uganda national bureau of standards (PSCP II/PSFS) GlobalG.A.P project

Their main interests were to understand how KFC partners with the Government and other stakeholders. In addition, how KFC has successfully achieved self-regulation through KFC code of practice and how certification is carried out along with other standards like GlobalGap, FFP among others.

According to Esther of Uganda Flowers Exporters Association (UFEA), Uganda has 20 Farms which are mostly concentrated in one place. In regards to compliance, farms are audited by MPS. UFEA do not audit farm since they do not have a Code of Practice in place except a draft which has not been implemented.  To enhance compliance in the farms all produce goes through the association cold facilities where UFEA makes sure all the farms are certified. They also guide farms in preparing for external certification e.g. MPS.

KFC attends World Bank launch of the Global Economic Prospects 2012

The World Bank has launched the Global Economic Prospects (GEP) 2012 at the Hotel Intercontinental on Monday, January 23, 2012. The 2012 edition focuses on uncertainties and vulnerabilities on the global economic environment outlining World Bank’s assessment of the current turbulence in the global economy, with a focus on the developing world, including East Asia and the Pacific.  The Kenya Flower Council attended the launch.

The edition discusses trade, commodity prices, remittances, and internal risks.
The Global Economy is expected to grow by 2.5 and 3.1 percent in 2012 and 2013 respectively. High income country growth rates is anticipated to grow by -0.3 percent in Europe and 2.1 in the rest of the high income countries. For the Developing countries growth has been revised down to 5.4%

Achieving these much weaker outturns is very uncertain. The downturn in Europe and the predicted slower growth in developing countries could reinforce one another resulting to even weaker outturns and further complicating efforts to restore market confidence. Meanwhile, the medium-term challenge represented by high debts and slow trend growth in other high-income countries has not been resolved and could trigger sudden adverse shocks.

Additional risks include the possibility that political tensions in the Middle East and North Africa could disrupt oil supply, and the possibility of a hard landing in one or more important middle-income countries

While the situation in high-income Europe is contained for the moment, if the crisis expands and markets deny financing to several additional European economies, outturns could be much worse, with global GDP more than 4 percent lower than in the baseline.

While external risks are most prominent – a number of domestic challenges could also cause outturns to sour.

–          disruptions to productive activity in the aftermath of the next elections are important potential downside risks, as investment, merchandise trade and tourism receipts, all important growth drivers, are likely to suffer

–          Adverse weather conditions. With the agricultural sector accounting for about 20 percent to 40 percent of GDP in most Sub-Sahara African countries, and with much of it dependent on good rains, the impact of poor rains on GDP growth in the region can be significant, not just to the agricultural sector but also for services and industries as they depend on the generation of power from hydroelectric sources.

Summary of possible outcomes

–          High Interest rates

–          Reduced GDP leading to lower purchasing power/disposable income

–          Investors likely to adopt a wait and see attitude both for new investments and expansion

–          Reduced Government spending

–          Governments likely to enhance revenue collection to  finance deficits

FFP and MPS ready to explore marketing cooperation

Fair Flowers Fair Plants and MPS have agreed to explore the possibilities to cooperate in marketing the FFP label. The organizations have corresponding ambitions in mainstreaming sustainability in order to reach a larger part of the consumers.

The marketing of the consumer label will be done with more strength and broader support with a higher number of producers and traders sourcing. The specialized retail channel with florists and garden centers is the prime target channel, retail chains are welcome to use the label as well. The marketing of the label will be done by MPS, an organization with experience and a strong position in the market and with the ambition and financial strength to get the label through its first period of small market reach and financial dependency.

The level of social and environmental sustainability for the label is established by the current FFP standard and therefore the label is open to be used by all products under schemes that are benchmarked by FFP (like MPS, KFC, FGP, Fiore Giusto, FLP, Control Union). The values that support the label are at least equal to the values of the current FFP foundation.

The label is governed by an international board with stakeholders from production, trade and civil society. This support is valued highly because it will guarantee that a large share of the international producers, traders and retailers chooses to participate and that consumers have the trust and will buy more sustainable products. MPS will take care of professional marketing and will be involved in the governance structure in order to guarantee sound operations and scale efficiencies.

This cooperation is linked to the foreseen creation of the international pre-competitive initiative aiming at mainstreaming sustainable production and trade of flowers and plants. A large group of companies and organizations (producer organizations, traders, retailers and NGOs from European, African and South American countries) have expressed their support for the foundation of this initiative, planned to be launched around June of this year, at the Floriade2012. The initiative will have a number of activities among which the establishment of an equivalency tool for certification schemes, aimed at increasing efficiency and transparency for growers, wholesalers and retailers/florists. In the future FFP and MPS will use and support this equivalency tool to set the sustainability levels for the FFP label. More communications about the pre-competitive initiative will be done within the coming weeks.

After the founding of the initiative and the establishment of the cooperation with MPS on the FFP label, the marketing of the FFP label will be separated organizationally from the pre-competitive activities of the initiative and the operational activities of the FFP foundation will be stopped.

From that moment the FFP Foundation will limit its activities to the support of mainstreaming sustainability by guarding the input and values from her international multi-stakeholder network towards the initiative´s equivalency tools and through the ownership of the FFP label.

Source: Hortibiz

Hortiflorexpo China 2012

Hortiflorexpo China 2012 is scheduled to take place on 11th to 14th April 2012 at Beijing Exhibition Center. This is an annual event held every odd year in Shanghai and every even year in Beijing. It is the largest trade exposition in the fields of floriculture, horticulture and gardening in China. Its supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, the Bureau of State Forestry. The show is organized by the China Flower Association and managed by the China Great Wall International Exhibition Co Ltd

Exhibit profile

1. Cut Flower, Potted Flower, Herb, Ornamental Plant, Bonsai, Seed, Seedling, Bulb, Turf, Nursery;

2. Tissue Culture, Cultivation Technology & Equipment, Fertilizer, Substrate, Pest & Erosion Control;

3. Greenhouse, Irrigation, Gardening Machinery, Gardening Tool, Cooling & Transportation;

4. Pot, Vase, Flower Arrangement, Packing Material, Decoration Plant;

5. Roof Greening, Urban Landscaping, Vertical Greening, Waterscape & Fountain, Garden Furniture, Anti-corrosive Woodwork;

6. Cooling & Transportation

7. Association, Publication, Website;

For more information, please visit their website www.hortiflorexpo.com

Extensive overview of horticulture in Mexico

Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture has conducted a study on the Mexican horticulture for the Dutch suppliers. The report gives information about the production areas, the technical level of the farms and the market developments.

According to the report, greenhouse horticulture is wide-spread over Mexico, and knows a wide diversity of crops. 60% of the acreage is concentrated in 5 states, viz. Sinaloa, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Jalisco and Mexico. Strongest growth is taking place in Sinaloa, Jalisco, Guanajuato and Michoacán. Queretaro is important for its agropark.

Tomato is by far the most important horticultural crop, to which 50% of the acreage is allocated. Cucumber, peppers, and eggplants follow. Berries are gaining importance. Mexico and Morelos are the most important states for the production of flowers, and potted plants, although some ornamental production is wide-spread over the country.

Good logistics, quality and traceability are essential, as is cost reduction. Cooperation in the sector will be increasingly important in the future to remain competitive. The ornamental sector will largely depend on the domestic situation. With some exceptions, it is not feasible to compete with other Latin America countries in the field of cut flowers. Their quality and logistics is superior. It will require very large steps to develop an industry-type of ornamental industry that can compete internationally. Hardware, knowledge, infrastructure, cooperation are just some of the issues.

Source: Hortibiz

South Koreans control greenhouse by phone

Sunshine and protection from freezing winter temperatures are crucial to sustain the crops in labour-scarce and urbanized South Korea where owners drive to their farms at least twice a day to cover or uncover plants with woolen blanket sheets by switching a motor on or off.

By using the new application from a smart phone, farmers are now able to maintain consistent crop temperatures. They remotely cover or uncover their crop inside large greenhouses, Telit Wireless Solutions’ Marketing Director for Asia-Pacific Kyung Jun Lee said in an interview.“There are farmers who drive more than an hour to their greenhouses in the countryside daily, which won’t be required with the smart phone technology”, he said. With field trials already complete, the technology has got government approval and has initially been introduced in the farms for oriental melons in Seongju county.

“Since the wireless technology provides video imaging, it can also be used for security and tracking livestock barns in case of the outbreaks of animal diseases such as foot and mouth”, he said. Telit, a subsidiary of wireless technology multinational, Telit Communications, is discussing with its offices elsewhere on potential use of the technology in other countries.

Source:  totaltele.com >Hortibiz

Viagra prolongs vase life of flowers

Keeping cut flowers perky for longer is probably the last thing a man taking Viagra would think of. But the drug designed to help revive his love life can have the same effect on a wilting bouquet.

Apparently just one milligram of Viagra can give cut flowers another week of life. The handy tip comes from TV gardener David Domoney, as can be read at MailOnline .

According to Domoney, you only need a tiny amount of Viagra to stiffen things up nicely. “Just 1mg – there are 50mg in a single tablet – dissolved into water with your plants will make them last a week longer.” He says nitric oxide, the chemical in the drug which relieves impotence by relaxing the muscles on blood vessels, causing them to dilate, also slows down the dying process in plants.

Mr Domoney adds: “Now scientists are working on ways to market a gardeners’ version of Viagra for plants. Soluble aspirin also works in the same way, too. Put one tablet into some wilting flowers and the effervescence will prolong their life.”

Scientists in Australia originally discovered Viagra’s plant preserving qualities and the research was published in the British Medical Journal, which said: ”Viagra can double the shelf life of cut flowers.”

Mr Domoney, now hosting Garden ER on Channel 5, also claims a range of other unlikely products  – though none quite as unlikely as Viagra – can improve the health of plants. They include:

  • Vodka: A shot of the spirit in a vase stops the water going green with algae.
  • Beer: Works brilliantly as a slug trap – bury half a cup in the soil near plants that have been attacked by the pests.
  • Sugar: Use it to feed house plants.
  • Tea: A great food for azaleas and other plants and good for fertilizing hanging baskets.
  • Deep Heat muscle relaxant: Spray it on a tea bag and place it around the garden to provide a harmless cat repellent.
  • Banana skins: Put them fleshy side down on flower beds to feed the roses.
  • Cola: The fizzy drink is a good fertilizer for pot plants but be sure to use the regular variety rather than the sugar-free.
  • Soap: Grate it into the holes where you are planting bulbs and it will stop squirrels coming to eat the bulbs later on.

Source: MailOnline > Hortibiz

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